Justifying ourselves

I am reading a book that is blowing me away:  Living by Faith by Oswald Bayer, the contemporary German theologian who is sort of the Lutheran answer to radical orthodoxy.  Instead of reading it all, then writing a formal review, I am so excited by this book that I thought I would write posts about what I am finding so interesting as I am reading through it.

Bayer begins by showing that the concept of “justification” is not an arcane theological concept.  Rather, it’s something we are preoccupied with all the time.  We are always engaged in trying to justify ourselves.  We are always maintaining that we are right, particularly when other people say that we are wrong.  At work, in our casual conversations, in our relationships with others, we are always defending ourselves, making excuses, scoring points, and seeking approval.  I mean, you see it in the comments on this and other blogs. [Read more...]

The Lutheran roots of Radical Orthodoxy

Not long ago we posted about the theological and philosophical movement known as Radical Orthodoxy, asking whether Lutherans could have a seat at that table.  Well, in another context, my friend George Strieter put me on to Johann Georg Hamann, a devout Lutheran who was friends with Kant and Hegel but who critiqued their philosophies with some extremely innovative philosophy of his own.   It turns out, Hamann’s thought is said to be a major influence on ” Oswald Bayer, John Milbank and David Bentley Hart.”  The latter two are the most prominent figures in Radical Orthodoxy.  And that Oswald Bayer , perhaps the favorite contemporary German theologian at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, is mentioned here puts him in the company of the radically orthodox. [Read more...]

Radical Orthodoxy?

What are we to make of “radical orthodoxy”?  This isn’t people who are orthodox getting all radical about it, as in some sort of theological Tea Party.  It’s a distinct theological movement, as I understand it, that uses postmodern philosophy to shoot down theological liberalism, that challenges the fact/value nature/grace distinction, that makes use of the church fathers to critique modernity, and that looks at all areas of life from a theological lens. [Read more...]

The Postsecular

The intellectual, academic world, according to some observers, has become “postsecular.”  Scholars are now factoring back in the importance of religion.  And yet this too has its divisions between those who favor a multi-faith religious pluralism and the advocates of “radical orthodoxy”–a sophisticated application of historical Christianity in terms of continental philosophy.  See this interview: Views: After the Postsecular – Inside Higher Ed.

For Radical Orthodoxy, see this.

HT:David Mills


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